MSI Wind U100-291UK - Exclusive Review - MSI Wind U100-291UK

Ardjuna Seghers

By Ardjuna Seghers



  • Recommended by TR
MSI Wind U100-291UK - Exclusive Review


Our Score:


On the software side of things this MSI Wind offers an odd mix of software that's not particularly well tailored to a netbook. For instance, the only productivity software available is a trial version of Microsoft Office 2007, while you're stuck with Internet Explorer 6 and Media Player 9, rather than more recent replacements, until you make the initiative to download the new versions yourself. This is joined by optional installations of Norton Internet Security 2008 and Cyberlink DVD Suite and it's just as well they're optional, since their use on a netbook is arguable.

By way of comparison, the Eee PC 1000H, which also uses Windows XP, comes pre-loaded with the Windows Live suite of software (Windows Live Mail for POP mail, Live Messenger for instant messaging, Live Photo Gallery for image viewing and basic editing and Live Writer), Microsoft Works for productivity and Star Office (Open Office). Of course, excluding Microsoft Works, all these can be downloaded for free anyway, but given many of the people buying netbooks these days aren't as familiar with such things, it's definitely an oversight on MSI's behalf.

So there you have it. The new version of MSI's Wind is identical to the old one, except you're getting a 160GB HDD, Wireless-N and of course that all-important six-cell battery for nearly five hours of frugal use. The main question left is price, and here too MSI seems to be on to a winner with an estimated RRP of £360 - the same outlay as for the 160GB version of the current model.

Compared to the Eee PC 1000H, the Wind offers double the hard drive size and a superior keyboard, while the Eee has a better touchpad and speakers, in addition to Dolby Sound Room technology. However, at 1.45kg, the Eee PC 1000H is significantly heavier, something that definitely tips things in favour of the MSI Wind.

Moreover, though prices on the Eee PC have come down a lot since launch (the 1000H is now available for around £320), the Wind is still the better proposition thanks to the greater portability, superior styling and better keyboard. In addition, it's conceivable that the price will reduce as retailers compete with one and other - something we've already seen with the majority of netbooks.

Indeed, the only other thing worth considering here are the potential competitors, the Samsung NC10 being primary among them. It not only matches the new Wind in specifications, but appears to have an even better keyboard, including a full-size right-shift and Ctrl-key on the outside of Fn. We'll have a review of this little beast as soon as it comes to market, so keep checking back!


Even at the £360 RRP, the new version of MSI's Wind is a very attractive proposition, offering some serious competition in the 10-inch netbook sector. Indeed, in this form factor, for the moment at least, it's probably the best netbook available so is well worth a Recommended Award.


October 2, 2008, 4:45 am

I always totted the MSI Wind / Advent 4211 as being way better to use in everyday situations than the Kiddie Eeeeeeeepccc range - all 976 of them ;) This just makes the case even more compelling, although it's still too expensive - 𧶲 inc VAT would have been appreciated more!


October 2, 2008, 5:19 am

Why is the power LED the Be unlimited asterisk?

I was expecting the battery life on this to meet or exceed that of the eee 901 but it sounds like it could be as much as an hour shorter under the same usage conditions. That's pretty disappointing.

Tony Walker

October 2, 2008, 12:26 pm

Has the wired ethernet been tweaked to be gigabit?

There should be large (7800mAh I think) third party batteries available soon I seem to recall reading on


October 2, 2008, 12:59 pm

"I always totted the MSI Wind / Advent 4211 as being way better to use in everyday situations than the Kiddie Eeeeeeeepcc"

That's really only an aesthetic thing. There's little practical difference.


October 2, 2008, 5:34 pm

Ardjuna, I'm being thick. Why should the inclusion of Norton Internet Security 2008 be arguable in a netbook? Thanks

Andy Vandervell

October 2, 2008, 5:41 pm

@Mike Williams - Because running an anti-virus on a system using an Atom processor will cripple performance.


October 2, 2008, 5:49 pm

Andy: So what do you do to protect from viruses?

Andy Vandervell

October 2, 2008, 6:30 pm

Be careful. ;)

Actually, this is one of the obvious reasons why Linux is a far better idea for netbooks. Since they don't require anti-virus, it's one less thing to worry about and ensures you don't bog your machine down with various scanners.

Tony Walker

October 2, 2008, 7:39 pm


I think he meant the keyboard. The one on the Wind nee Advent 4211 that I have is close to the Dell Inspiron 7000 keyboard which I rate as the best laptop keyboard I have ever used.

My provenance? I am still using an IBM PS/2 keyboard as my main desktop PCs keyboard. Best keyboard bar none - I've also used some pretty decent other ones too.


October 2, 2008, 7:43 pm

my advent 4211 has no problem of having internet security running on the background while photoshopping.. of course with added 1gb mem


October 2, 2008, 9:07 pm

@andy: Let's hope the virus situation with Linux lasts. But are you saying don't bother with the Atom if you need to run XP? Thanks again


October 2, 2008, 9:31 pm

Shameless plug: Kaspersky has nearly no performance hit when running... but install something like a Norton product and expect to see things slow down - although most techies know this anyway.

Andy Vandervell

October 2, 2008, 9:33 pm

I wouldn't go that far, but if you're going to run anti-virus I'd opt for something lighter and less resource intensive than Norton.


October 2, 2008, 10:02 pm

I thought Norton 2009 had changed all that and was now one of the most frugal AV solutions?

(Sorry, going slightly off-topic)


October 3, 2008, 3:25 pm

@Pbryanw: unfortunately this Wind came with Norton 2008.

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